Introduction: Upcycled Bunk Bed Workbench
This solid wood workbench is great for beginners or anybody looking to save money. It is made from a discarded bunk bed frame and extra screws I had laying around. It does not require any power tools except for an electric hand drill. I tried to avoid using nails and wood glue because I may need to take it apart and move it in a year or two.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
I often see these older style bed frames dumped on the curb when people move, this one came from across the street. Otherwise you can find them for pretty cheap at Goodwill or at yard sales. Bunk beds are a good source material because they are solidly made, have many matching pieces, and often have six side rails. You could also use two similar twin frames with additional scrap wood.
-2 matching or compatible headboards (front and back of the workbench frame)
-4-6 side rails or plywood/MDF sheet (benchtop)
-Bed slats, headboards, footboards, or other scrap wood (frame supports and bottom shelf)
Wood screws and nails- Many screws can be re-used from the original frame, but more will be needed.
Electric hand drill
Pliers- Great for removing wire nails
Hand saw- Minimal sawing required
Step 2: Disassembling and Modifying Headboards and Side Rails
This step is very dependent upon the type of bed frames and scrap wood one is using. Use your best judgment and reinforce as necessary.
1. Disassemble the top bunk headboards. These will be used for the frame supports and shelf.
2. On the remaining headboards, saw out the middle rungs. These will be the edges of the shelf.
3. Cut three bed slats the same length as the frame supports.
4. Separate the slat-bearers from the side rails so that the rails can lie flat.
5. Cut two slat-bearers the same length as the middle rungs. Cut the remaining slat-bearers into six equal pieces.
6. Nail the slat-bearer pieces to reinforce interior of headboards as shown.
Step 3: Assembling Bench Frame and Shelf
1. Affix frame supports on the top corners with wood screws.
2. Affix frame supports to lower sides with wood screws.
3. Attach bed slats, make sure to screw into slat-bearers and not rung edges.
4. Lay shelf pieces on the bed slats with shorter middle rungs on the edges.
5. Affix middle rungs to bed slats with wood screws. I did not screw down the middle shelf planks, they were already snug and I like being able to access underneath the bench.
Step 4: Attach Benchtop
1. Attach top middle frame supports, making sure to screw into slat-bearer, not rung.
2. Place side rails on top of bench frame with equal overhang on each side.
3. Affix each side rail with wood screws.
There are many other ways to assemble the benchtop. However I was late to meet up with some friends at an Irish pub so this way was the quickest.
Step 5: Finished!
1. Test structural integrity with spouse documenting.
2. Enjoy a nap anytime.
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